California celebrities exceed water usage limits amid drought

The city of Calabasas in Los Angeles County is a popular home for celebrities. Alex Potemkin / E+ / Getty Images

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Famous celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Hart and Dwyane Wade have exceeded water usage limits in Southern California amid the ongoing drought.

More than 2,000 customers were recently issued “notices of excess” by the Los Vergennes Municipal Water District, meaning these customers used more than 150% of their monthly limit for water use at least four times through the end of 2021, the Los Angeles Times reported. Customers issued with these notices may now face the installation of water-flow-restricting devices on their properties, which can reduce strong water flows.

In June 2022, the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District implemented “Stage 3” water restrictions, limiting customers to outdoor water once a week. But some customers exceeded their monthly water budget by 1400% in June.

In May, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union’s property exceeded the water limit by 489,000 gallons, more than any other customer, according to the Los Angeles Times, but attributed it to pool problems. The property exceeded the limit by 90,000 gallons of water in June.

Sylvester Stallone’s estate exceeded its monthly water budget by 533%, an increase from May, before “Stage 3” water restrictions were put into effect. Stallone’s attorney told the Los Angeles Times that mature trees on the property were at risk of dying and falling onto homes on neighboring properties without adequate water.

“For celebrities or musicians or athletes who live in all the areas, the monetary penalty would be meaningless because it wouldn’t matter,” Mike McNutt, spokesman for the Los Vergennes Municipal Water District, told NPR. “They have plenty of money and if they want to, they can spend $5,000 a month on water bills.”

As a result, they can now face the installation of a water flow-restricting device that reduces water by up to 70%. Water conservation measures are important, as the region is completely dependent on water imported from about 400 miles away in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

McNutt noted that there has been some improvement in customers’ water usage compared to previous droughts. In June 2021, Los Vergennes residents used about 261 gallons of water per person per day, which decreased to 170 gallons per person by June 2022.

But still, many celebrities, Hollywood executives, lawyers and doctors living in this area of ​​Los Angeles County are using more water than the average person. McNutt hopes the influencers set a good example of water conservation in California.

“People listen to you, look up to you, people appreciate your work … we need you to step up to the plate, be an example and be a leader so that other people will follow,” he said. “The most important thing is that anyone in that bracket, or those who have the resources, can influence and help modify other people’s behavior.”

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